Reviews by Leah A. Zeldes

One Basket

by Edna Ferber

Very moving and powerful short stories from the World War I era. Edna Ferber is one of the greatest, most underrated writers of the 20th century. Unfortunately, only seven of the 31 stories originally included in this anthology are present in this collection; what's here is definitely worth reading, however.

Reviewed on 2014.03.26

Call Mr. Fortune

by H.C. Bailey

As insouciant as Lord Peter Wimsey, to whom he appears to be a precursor, Reggie Fortune is a London doctor and crime solver. These stories start with his first case as a G.P. Later, he becomes a surgeon (hence "Mr." in English usage) and a regular consultant to Scotland Yard.

Fortune's medical knowledge plays a role in his deductions, but don't look for extensive forensic pathology a la Patricia Cornwall. If you enjoy Sayers-style English drawing room mysteries, Fortune will be up your alley.

It's a pity H.C. Bailey's works are out of print and so few available online.

Reviewed on 2014.03.26

Proteus Island

by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

Stanley G. Weinbaum was one of the best of the pre-Golden Age science-fiction writers, and his work remains eminently readable. In this story, a zoologist marooned on a mysterious island near New Zealand discovers that its flora and fauna are distinctly and dangerously odd. There's a bit of Jane meets Tarzan in it, and some unlikely science, but it's all very plausible and a fun, fast read.

Reviewed on 2014.03.23

The House of a Thousand Candles

by Meredith Nicholson

A fast-moving adventure. The plot may seem a bit predictable, but Nicholson packs in so much action that even when you expect what happens, the novel moves you right along.

The world-traveling scapegrace grandson of an eccentric architecture buff inherits his grandfather's partly finished Indiana house on condition he live there for a year and not marry the alternate heir who'll get the property if he fails to meet the conditions. On his first night in the house, somebody shoots at him. The house, it seems, is full of mysteries, and what happens next isn't quite what you expect.

Reviewed on 2014.03.15

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